「Real Me Doesn’t Exist」

Sometimes, we don’t know who exactly our true self is, but just knowing that one exists and having the resolve to find it out can be just as important as its eventual acceptance. Both Rise and Kuma weren’t as lucky as the others, who had Shadows that spelled out exactly who their true self was, but they do share the determination to discover it. This mere realization is enough to awaken their Personas.

After the previous episode ended with only a small glimpse of Shadow Rise’s Mayonaka TV program, we were treated to every single inch of it this week. It seems like each new character’s show is a little bit more risqué than the last, which makes Yuu’s foresight in setting up his VCR all the more brilliant. That man is determined to save every second of Rise’s striptease, furiously pounding away on his remote’s record button. Yuu’s not alone in his enthusiasm either – Yousuke shows way more excitement at seeing Risette stripping than concern over the fact that it means that Rise has been kidnapped and the Investigation Team has failed once again.

At least this means that they’re all back inside Mayonaka TV and reunited with Kuma once again, who’s distraught at being left alone inside the TV world. I can definitely see where he’s coming from though, questioning himself after being forgotten by his so-called friends for weeks at a time. Probably doesn’t help either when Yukiko tells him “We think of you sometimes!” The girl is refreshingly and endearingly honest, I’ll give her that. She’s like an awkward quirky cute girl, kind of like a Zooey Deschanel. The Investigation Team shouldn’t take Kuma for granted though because he is undeniably useful, using Rise’s scent from her cell phone (how/when did they find that?) to lead them to our newest dungeon, Marukyu Striptease, an even steamier setting than Kanji’s bathhouse.

Whenever a new dungeon is introduced, I always enjoy the reactions from the last person rescued, and Kanji delivered in spades. His role in using Take-Mikazuchi’s overwhelming physical strength to defeat the Persistent Fuzz came as nice surprise after his hilarious search for his “disguise” glasses, similar to Kozue from Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin. An unexpected but welcome change from the game is that instead of meeting one Risette, we get seven, and they’re all in different outfits too, which is probably quite appropriate for a strip club. Among the seven Risettes is Shadow Risette, probably the only pole dancer to ever appear in an anime, as far as I know. Once again, Yousuke gets his priorities mixed up as his pervert arcana takes over and he’s able to remember exactly which outfit Rise wore in which photo album. The Team is lucky that they have Chie to keep him in line, or they might have done what I always did in the game – left him at home in Inaba.

Overall, Persona 4 has stayed fairly true to the game in regards to the strength and weaknesses of both the Personas and their enemies, so whenever there is a difference, it’s made all the more visible. Even though Chie’s Tomoe Gozen has the best physical attacks, they’ve translated Kanji’s physical prowess onto his Persona’s, and while they’ve shown the Persistent Fuzz reflecting back all magical attacks, none of the attacks were actually reflected towards the Personas or their users. Minor inconsistencies aside, the action scenes were much better animated than the scenes in prior episodes and more enjoyable as a result. It’s always nice to be reminded that there are Personas needed to do the fighting, that all the awakenings the characters have gone through haven’t been for nothing.

Even with all of Kanji’s heroics, it’s not enough. Rise utters the magic words and a sultry Shadow Rise turns into the most fearsome boss the team has seen yet, and probably sets a precedent in both anime and video games as the first pole-dancing boss and also the first one to use said poles as weapons. If that’s not enough for you to call her overpowered, she’s also able to completely analyze all the Personas’ strengths and weaknesses to dodge their attacks and deliver her own in return, only to be thwarted by the scene-stealing Kuma.

Seriously, someone give this bear his own spin-off show already. No one is able to dole out quality comedic lines interspersed with deep insights and bear puns quite like Kuma. Whether it’s throwing his own bear-tiful fur on the line with a grizzly suicide attack to defeat Shadow Rise and saving everyone on the team, or arguing with his own shadow while inside his own shadow, Kuma handles it all with style to spare. Even his eventual Persona, Kintoki-Douji, is dripping with awesome – it’s hanging from a Tomahawk cruise missile! Unfortunately, style can’t overcome everything, so it’s a good thing that Rise’s Himiko and his trusty sensei’s Izanagi return the favor by saving the day with her battle analysis and his stabbing, although a nice focused Ziodyne would have been much cooler to see.

After not one, but two epic battles, you’d think the Investigation Team would get some rest and Yuu would be able to get closer to his new harem member, but it seems like they have more work cut out for them when another body appears, hanging from another antenna.

* Full-length images: 24, 26, 35.




  1. Teddie: i’m going BEARSERK!!!!

    izanagi coping a feel on himiko.lol.

    even if yuu can’t record down Shadow Rise’s midnight channel promotional vid, he’ll just add her to his harem, like a boss.

  2. Nice summary of Persona 4 anime thus far! I really like how the anime has been pacing thus far and its looking like Mitsuo character arc next.

    My only pet peeve is how they are setting up the Empress Social link, I am hoping to get a one on one date episode with Margaret and Yu.

  3. Poor Yuu couldn’t record anything but static. I share his disappointment. Although he does score one for the Lovers Social Link. *Waves Rise flag*

    I like the use of multiple Rise’s to torment Rise. Certainly sets up her whole conflict and confusion of her won image. Shadow Teddie was disappointing though. He was still as creepy as he was in the games, but all he did afterwards was become a huge vacuum. Literally. Things are moving a bit for my taste, though maybe they are setting up something good towards the end.

    Also P4 players should recognize what exactly Izanagi stabbed here. That was a nice touch.

  4. Since it looks like they’re Show Spoiler ▼

    next week, I wonder how they’re going to balance out the stuff that came before, such as the festival and Teddie stuff…

    It was a bit rushed this week but overall, the pacing for trying to fit the whole game matches. Can’t wait for the school trip+Naoto arc though <3.

  5. I’m really looking forward to seeing Rise go with the team inside the dungeons. I hope the staff aren’t thinking of leaving her near the entrance like ingame.

    Lol at that preview. So next is Show Spoiler ▼

  6. Well, we’re officially out of Hiimdaisy dub jokes…but what the hell.

    The word of the day is: FUTILE.


    Chie, do you know any other words that start with F?

  7. Chie’s stats are useless in the game, Kanji always has way higher strength than her so his physical attacks are clearly better. Also you leave Brosuke at home?

    anyway back on track of the episode, loved it! definitely my favourite show this season.

  8. Alright ! Thanks for the review Verdant !

    Hmmm… no much has changed here…
    Show Spoiler ▼

    The rest is pretty accurate… and we’re about to go in the darker, grimmer parts of the game now… so stay tuned !

  9. Rise may be the only main character to also be a pole dancer in anime. Outlaw Star had at least one in the background near the start. … On the DVD’s! there’s no way in heck they would’ve aired that on TV <<!

    Ah, next scent. I look forward to see how they'll tell the story on this one.

    I'm kinda disappointed in the battle, "Worst Danger, yet"! … that didn't seem that dangerous really :/…

  10. Shadow Rise: “IT’S OVER 9000!”

    This episode definitely had Teddie/Kuma at his teddiest. Him powering up and charging at Shadow Rise was the most awesome yet adorable scene I’ve seen yet.


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